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Could Flu Shot Cut Risk of Heart Attack?

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SYDNEY) -- We know the flu shot can help prevent the flu. But could it ward off other deadly problems too? Australian researchers think that little injection may offer more than just flu protection. It may also cut your heart attack risk, they say.


Studying 500 people age 40 and older, the researchers at the School of Public Health at the University of New South Wales compared those who had a heart attack to those who had not, and looked to see whether these subjects had been given the flu shot.


They found that those who had the shot also had about half the rate of heart attack.

"The flu vaccine reduces the risk of heart attack. It has a protective effect of [a] 45-percent reduction of the risk of heart attack," study author Raina MacIntyre said, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.


MacIntyre says the study findings support recommendations that the flu vaccine should be recommended for people over 50, who, in general, are more at risk for having a heart attack.


Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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